David Kirkpatrick

October 28, 2009

The economic crisis in pictures

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:52 am

Here’s four quick and easy graphs that nicely illustrate the current economy and how we got here.

From the link (hit the link for an analysis of the ongoing economic crisis and how to get out of it):

October 2, 2009

TARP turns one — a birthday with no candles, no cake from me

TARP, the original bailout jammed through in a blind panic, turns a year-old tomorrow. Its expiration is scheduled for the end of the year unless Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner decides to keep it rolling.

From the link:

As of Saturday, it will have been a year since the U.S. Congress created the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, originally intended as a bailout just for the financial system.

Emphasis might be placed on the word “Troubled,” as TARP has been plagued by controversy since conception. For the past year, the Bush and Obama administrations have used the program as a bailout smorgasbord, with entrees for the auto and mortgage industries, the securitization market for consumer goods, American International Group (See “What AIG Really Owes Taxpayers”) and the banking sector at large. Toxic assets remain on bank balance sheets, Congress is still busy plugging TARP’s holes on executive compensation limits and the program is a significant part of the country’s projected $1.6 trillion deficit for 2009.

April 8, 2009

Cato University 2009

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:45 am

Getting the word out about the Cato Institute’s Cato University 2009. Should be an interesting event for anyone who can attend.

Here’s some details from the link:

Cato University, the Cato Institute’s premier educational event of the year, is right around the corner!

On June 26-31 in Rancho Bernardo, California, Cato University will bring together outstanding faculty and participants from across the country to discuss how the state has expanded during times of crises; the threats to liberty, privacy, and independence, as the rush for government-imposed solutions (and, hence, power) increases in pace; and, what can be done to restrain – or reverse – its growth.

This year’s topic: Economic Crisis, War, and the Rise of the State.

And even more details from the link in the blockquote:

THE PROGRAM – Economic Crisis, War, and the Rise of the State

Between economic chaos and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the powerful drive to solve problems through government intervention is creating a dangerous new status quo.  During a crisis – and now with the multiple challenges of global economic calamity roaring alongside two wars and international terrorism – government grows exponentially.  Massive overreaching by government was one of chief causes of these crises, so we are witnessing a disease posing as the cure.  And while government may recede after the immediate crisis recedes, it rarely returns to its original size – thus the cautionary adage there is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution, and nothing closer to immortality than a government program.

But – a crisis also presents opportunities to change the status quo, to reduce the size of government.  Cato University 2009 offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the past, present, and future of freedom: how the state has expanded during times of crises; the threats to liberty, privacy, and independence, as the rush for government-imposed solutions (and, hence, power) increases in pace; and, what can be done to restrain – or reverse – its growth.  This year, Cato University has again assembled a distinguished group of scholars and teachers:

  • Professor Robert Higgs, Editor of The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy and the author of numerous acclaimed books, including Crisis and Leviathan:  Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government.
  • Professor Robert McDonald, department of history, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  He has published articles in a wide range of academic journals of history, and has a national reputation as a scholar of Thomas Jefferson and the American Founding period.
  • Dan Mitchell, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a top national expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy. His latest book is Global Tax Revolution:  The Rise of Tax Competition and the Battle to Defend It.
  • Professor Marcus Cole, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, and a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. His scholarly and research interests range from classical liberal political theory to natural law and the history of commercial law.
  • Dr. Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center. A former policy analyst at the Cato Institute, she is coauthor of Action ou Taxation, published in Switzerland, and serves on the board of directors of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.
  • David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute; author of The Politics of Freedom:  Taking on the Left, the Right, and Threats to our Liberties; Libertarianism: A Primer; and editor of The Libertarians Reader and the Cato Handbook for Policymakers.
  • Dr. Tom G. Palmer, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, director of Cato University,  and author of the forthcoming book  Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History and Practice.
  • Prof. Tibor Machan, adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and professor at the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University He is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Pacific Research Foundation. He is widely published and is the author of numerous books and articles on natural rights, political philosophy, business ethics, and libertarianism.
  • Randal O’Toole, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, focusing on urban growth, public land, and transportation issues. His latest book is The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms the Quality of Your Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future.

<!–The program’s daily schedule – including the complete faculty list (and bios), session topics, and special evening presentations – will be posted soon. This we guarantee: your intellectual passions and commitment to freedom and liberty will be energized and enhanced by the totally new perspectives and sessions we will be providing at Cato University 2009 – Economic Crisis, War, and the Rise of the State.


  • Professor Marcus Cole of Stanford University Law School
  • Professor Glen Whitman of California State University, Northridge
  • Professor David Beito of the University of Alabama
  • Dr. Tom G. Palmer, senior fellow of the Cato Institute and director of Cato University
  • Professor Robert McDonald of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
  • Brian Doherty, senior editor at Reason magazine and author of Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement
  • Dr. Ronald Krieger, Economist and Wall Street Veteran
  • David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute and author of Libertarianism: A Primer.



September 18, 2008

Cracking down on shorting financial stocks

This move by the SEC and the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority is boneheaded and ridiculous. Free markets are free markets. Bans and increased regulation on legitimate transactions are an unacceptable level of governing in our system.

Right now the United States is not truly a capitalist nation, and the GOP (if you want to count GOP-appointed commissioners) has failed our land in every way possible.

Change can’t happen soon enough.

From the link:

Panic is ugly.

And nowhere is it uglier than in emergency moves by regulators to restrict short-selling, trading that lets investors profit from a stock’s decline.

Indeed, by targeting short selling, the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission could even prolong the agony for financial stocks.

The FSA has banned short-sales of financial-company shares until January. The SEC is considering disclosures for short-sellers more onerous than for investors owning shares.

Regulators are scared by recent market events. They are going down this road because they want to arrest the rapid decline in certain bank shares. The assumption is that short-sellers have mounted bear-raids on companies that live or die by confidence, stoking market-wide fear.

But targeting an integral stock market activity, such as short-selling, carries risks. For example, short-selling is an important risk-management tool, allowing investors to hedge their long positions.

I almost feel bad …

… for reposting an entire Andrew Sullivan item because the quote he pulls is so great. In return for borrowing his content, here’s a plug — be sure to catch Sully on the Bill Maher show this weekend on HBO.

From the link:

Ron Paul Was Right, Ctd.

18 Sep 2008 02:28 pm

“I fear the government has passed the point of no return. We have the irony of a free-market administration doing things that the most liberal Democratic administration would never have been doing in its wildest dreams. It’s pure crisis management. It’s the Treasury and the Federal Reserve lurching from crisis to crisis without a clear statement on how financial failures will be handled in the future. They’re afraid to articulate such a policy. The safety net they are spreading seems to widen every day with no end in sight,” – Ron Chernow, a leading American financial historian.

<!– –>